Darwin Nunez is edging closer to a move to Liverpool from Benfica.
The Uruguayan forward has made a lasting impression across Europe this season, firing the Portuguese club to the quarter-finals of the Champions League – only to fall short to Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
But Nunez made enough of an impression against the Merseyside club to convince them that he’s the real deal, the best possible export from the Primeira Liga since Luis Diaz, who departed for Anfield all of six months ago.
How would Nunez fit in at Liverpool, however? 90min has some ideas…
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Nunez spent much of Benfica’s season playing as a centre-forward, and with Sadio Mane pushing for an exit this summer, it’s likely that the incoming 22-year-old would play there for Liverpool.
At 6ft2, Nunez would be Klopp’s tallest starting centre-forward since Lucas Barrios in his Bundesliga-winning Borussia Dortmund sides. However, his energy and pace make him compatible with the German’s typical forward options.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are two of the greatest crossers in world football (the former perhaps of all time), and having a taller target to aim for will surely be of benefit.
Mohamed Salah and Diaz could benefit from a physical presence drawing bodies away, making it easier to create a yard of separation from their defender.
Salah (RW) – Nunez (CF) – Diaz (LW)
Salah (RW) – Nunez (CF) – Jota (LW)
Salah (RW) – Nunez (CF) – Mane (LW)
Despite mainly playing through the middle, Nunez has plenty of experience starting from the left flank.
Diaz has nailed down the left-wing role since his arrival from Porto, but if Klopp fancies shaking things up then he could always play another of the Primeira Liga’s finest out there instead.
Nunez isn’t as technically gifted as Diaz so he would likely struggle at times when the game is slowed down, but his searing pace would make him a useful wide option in transition.
Salah (RW) – Jota (CF) – Nunez (LW)
Salah (RW) – Mane (CF) – Nunez (LW)
Salah (RW) – Firmino (CF) – Nunez (LW)
Diaz (RW) – Salah (CF) – Nunez (LW)
Theoretically, this should only be an option for a few weeks while Nunez adjusts to Premier League life.
But if he doesn’t hit the ground running then Klopp still has a wealth of options in his squad and bringing the Uruguayan off the bench is a terrifying prospect for opponents to adjust to.
Moreover, Liverpool might not sell Mane and could stick with the rotations they used up top for the 2021/22 season. You never know in football.
#Liverpool #line #Darwin #Nunez